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Showing posts from August, 2012

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List: #376 - Zodiac

Hundreds of movies have been made about serial killers and the police officers hunting them down, but David Fincher’s “Zodiac” (2007) stands apart because of its more grounded approach. It chronicles a police investigation that begins in San Francisco in 1969 and ends in 1991. Along the way we follow smart police officers who do their best to narrow down a long of list of suspects, and reporters who try to figure out what to do when the killer sends them letters detailing his crimes. These are all intelligent people trying to outsmart a cerebral killer. Yet there is also a surreal sense of humor as the story unfolds. The manhunt and one of its detectives ended up being the inspiration for “Dirty Harry” starring Clint Eastwood. Imagine sitting in a movie theater watching an actor playing that detective who is watching the movie that was inspired by his work.
When I first watched that scene and the rest of the movie, it was my first time watching a movie at Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre. …

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List: #377 - Mean Streets

Watching Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets” (1973) is like taking a look at one of the smaller pyramids of Egypt before the BIG ones were built. Before Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio were working opposite sides of the law in “The Departed,” before Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were running Vegas in “Casino,” and before Ray Liotta became a gangster in “Goofellas,” Harvey Keitel was trying to survive the mean streets of New York. All the classic elements are there: strong performances, gangsters who are both reckless and conflicted by their choices, and a kick-ass soundtrack by The Rolling Stones.
This movie was another entry in the film club I joined while studying at the University of Sherbrooke, where we would watch double features every night in the faculty basement. That week’s programming: a Martin Scorsese double feature starting with “Mean Streets” and ending with, I believe, “Goodfellas.” Appropriate, since “Mean Streets” was the beginning of success for Scorsese, while “Goodfel…